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Monday, November 26, 2007

Jonny 'RelliK' Stamboli Speaks On Signing With TNA, Drugs, WWE, Shoots On Mero & More

Courtesy of Andy Steven:


Interview With: Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli

Interview By: Andy Steven of www.PWMania.com
Date: November 26, 2007

Following his TNA PPV & iMPACT debut, Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli took some time out of his schedule to speak with www.PWMania.com! Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli speaks on signing with TNA, drug use in wrestling, his time in WWE & WCW, as well as his recent WWE dark matches and much more! The complete interview is below:

Andy Steven: Hello Jonny, firstly I would like to thank you for time out of your schedule to take part in this interview for www.PWMania.com. What have you been up to recently?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: Working, Wrestling, and Negotiating. I'm a Mortgage Broker during the day and a Wrestler by night. The job pays for the wrestling. I was in negations with WWE, TNA and another Company on Primetime but no answer from them as of yet. TNA gave me an Offer so I went with them.

Andy Steven: What inspired you to be professional wrestler and how did you break into the business?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: I always watched WWF/WCW when I was a kid. Then I worked out at Stings/Lex Lugers gym in Atlanta called Main Event Fitness. I met Horseshow (Luther Reigns), DDP, Disco, Buff Bagwell. I was 18 yrs old at the time. I wasn't really doing anything with my life at that point but getting into fight's, going to clubs and hanging out with the wrong people. I got stabbed 5 times by a group of thugs in an alley in Atlanta. The reason why this happened was a combination of me being a hothead and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. After that night I realized that I needed some direction and goals. I also realized that I wasn't indestructible. So I went to a tryout at the Power Plant. 20 guy's tried out those 3 days and I was the only one that made it through that particular tryout. I broke my rib, and thru up.

Andy Steven: You made an impressive TNA debut at TNA Genesis earlier this month, how did you get in contact with TNA and how did the character and gimmick come up?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: I’ve stayed in contact with Terry Taylor for awhile now. Jeff and Terry are men that stand by what they say. I just took my new gimmick to the PPV in Atlanta. I spoke with Jeff Jerret, Terry Taylor and Vince Russo. I showed them the gimmick and pitched a few ideas. They emailed me about a week later and asked if I wanted a job.

Andy Steven: You started your career in WCW and then signed with WWE when Vince McMahon purchased the company, what are your memories from WCW and how different was the backstage atmosphere and management was WCW compared to when you signed with WWE?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: Well, If you can imagine going into a rival locker room that are all pissed that your there and having to prove yourself.

As clickish as WCW was the management wasn't as corporate as WWE was. But I was a rookie then and I didn't know jack about the business. After a while though I made friends in WWE and it was fine. I liked the WWE much more but the politics were on a higher level.

Andy Steven: During your time in WWE you became Hardcore Champion twice and was also in the Full Blooded Italians (F.B.I) stable, how do you feel WWE used you when they gave you the hardcore title considering that they did not let you gave a long enough run with the title and did you enjoy being in the F.B.I?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: I was just happy that they included me in the hardcore division and I didn't really care about the run. I knew that they had other things planned for me. As for the F.B.I. I loved that team and they could've did so much with it but then politics kicked in and It was squashed just like every tag team is in the WWE.

Andy Steven: While you were with the F.B.I you feuded with Rikishi, Los Guerreros, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, John Cena, The Undertaker and several other stars, which feud did you enjoy most, who did you like working against and who was most difficult to work with?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: All those guy's were great to work with. It was an honour to work with all them. I really honour the time I had with Eddie. We were good friends and he's in a better place now. Rikishi really help me out at one time by allowing me to Press him on TV. No one had ever done that before and it elevated my character. Benoit was a machine and he always made you work harder. Mysterio is one of my best friends in the business and I have great respect for him and his accomplishments. From a fans point of view. Undertaker was awesome to work with. I marked out every time I was in the ring and he made his entrance, just seeing him walking down to the ring to wrestle me. It was very exciting!

Andy Steven: You were released by WWE on November, 4th 2004, what was the reason for your release and would you return to the company?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: Money, politics and they had nothing for me, but mainly politics.

Andy Steven: Earlier this year in July and September, you appeared in a WWE dark match against Chavo Guerrero, reports suggested that WWE were really interested in resigning you however they never due to your name being in the 2007 steroid scandal. Is there any truth to that, if not what went wrong with that?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: No, that had nothing to do with it. WWE never even said anything about it.

Andy Steven: A lot of media has been picking up on the ‘WWE steroid scandal’, what are your thoughts on how the media is treating the situation, have you taken unnecessary drugs in the past for wrestling and what is your opinion on drugs in wrestling?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: The media is a group that sensationalizes everything. They want to get your mind off the war. They don’t understand what we go through. Look at it like this, If you go to A Dr. for the flu and he prescribes you antibiotics for it. What do you do? You go to the pharmacy, fill your prescription and do what the Dr say's. Yes, I've done things in the past because Dr. Wilbert in AZ. prescribed them to me. I received blood work, and used my insurance to fill the prescriptions. Everything was done legally or so I thought. Keep in mind, I did this back in 2002. Before the wellness policy was in effect. Look at it like this as well, If you break your neck and a Dr. tells you 18 months of rehab before you can wrestle again, pay your bills, put food in your kids mouth and so on OR, 8 months by taking Growth hormones and Steroids with helping speed up the healing process. What are you going to do. Keep in mind if you don’t wrestle, you don’t get paid. So, I’m going to do whatever it takes to get back in the ring. Under a Dr.s supervision. All sports have athletes that use. Hell, I just heard that some golfer was connected to the Signiture lab scandal. Which I never was involved in...The only difference is those sports are competitive. They are REALLY trying to win! Wrestling is Entertainment! It's not competitive. We know who's going to win and lose. I don’t condone the use of steroids by any means. I do however recommend them for major injuries in sports or out of sports. Also, let me point out that no one ever told me to do them at either WWE or WCW. I have had some pretty painful injuries that will stick with me the rest of my life. I tore my urethra in a match with Terry Funk, Shifted my hips. Broke my leg and so on, So, I think abuse of any drug is a bad thing and it should be regulated. If some one needs pain pills to get through a match then have a Dr. give them a small amount and that’s it. They do in the NFL.

People are going to always do things that are bad for them, Smoking, alcohol, Marc Mero and Botox. haha, some one needs to tell him that he looks absolutely ridiculous. He's a joke. You cant tell the difference of when he's smiling or frowning! Get a life Marc and quit being a mark!

Andy Steven: What are you’re plans with TNA and what is your opinion on the company?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: I’m teaming with Black reign vs. Abyss and Rhyno at Turning point on Dec 2nd. I'm very excited about working for them. TNA locker room is laid back and everyone respectful there. TNA office is very easy to talk to as well. It's like a family there.

Andy Steven: Do you have any funny road trip stories you can share with us?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: Yes I do, Me, Jindrack and Rey were driving together and we stopped by the mall before we went to the arena. I forget what city it was in. But we walked into a store that Rey wanted to go in. We were there for awhile and I was bored. There were these little pins that you stick in your shirt. Like a name tag but they had little words or names on them. They one I grabbed said Dork on it. So while Rey was paying for his items I stuck it on the back of his shirt near his lower back. We then walked through the mall back to our car saying hey dork to Rey but he never caught on. We pulled over and asked him to run into the store and grab some waters just so we can see him with the dork tag. HAHA. It was soooo funny. He came back in and still he didn't notice. Then we arrived at the arena, made the long walk to the locker room and all the boys were saying hey dork to him. HAHA. Then someone finally told him. This went on for like 2 hours. I was out by the ring and he came out with a big smile on his face and we joked about it.

Andy Steven: I would like to thank you very much once again for taking this time to take part in this interview for www.PWMania.com, I wish you the best of luck in the future and do you have any messages to say to your fans?

Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: I think you for your time and I think my fans for there support. I'm just excited to be with a company like TNA and there fans. They have taken me in with open arms and with there help RELLIK will do well in TNA. By the way, if anyone wants to buy a house or refinance I'm your guy. My list includes, Charlie Haas, Shelton Bej, Gene Snisky, Rey Mysterio, Jackie Gayda, Carlito and Ken Kennedy and many others. Please contact Andy Steven for serious inquires.